How to Make Impeachment Great Again

Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with Supreme Court Justices

“Biden family members and business associates created a web of over 20 companies,” according to a May 10 memorandum from the US House Committee on Oversight and Accountability. Most of those companies, which “received over $10 million
from foreign nationals’ companies,” were “formed during Joe Biden’s vice presidency.”

The Biden family, according to the memo,  engaged in “complicated financial transactions,” apparently “to conceal the source of the funds and reduce the conspicuousness of the total amounts made into the Biden bank accounts.”

If all of that sounds pretty bad, it’s supposed to.

If any of it surprises you, welcome back to civilization after your hopefully refreshing 15-year nap. You can start catching up by punching the terms “Hunter Biden,” “laptop,” and “Burisma” into your search engine of choice.

Follow that with “Donald Trump” (you may remember him as a notoriously inept businessman and B-list celebrity) and “impeachments” (yes, plural).

We’ve been up to quite a bit of weirdness since you crawled into that cave for your long hibernation, haven’t we?

Over the last 25 years (going back to Bill Clinton in 1998), impeachment has become the go-to threat, and looking for grounds to impeach has become Congress’s constant obsession.

If Republicans maintain control of the House, we can look forward to impeachment proceedings against Joe Biden even if the allegations in that committee memorandum are false. If Democrats maintain control of more than 1/3 of the Senate, we can look forward to acquittal even if the allegations are true.

The last time presidential impeachment “worked” in America was 1974, when Richard Nixon resigned — because he knew that Republicans were about to join Democrats  in voting to impeach, and to convict, him for his role in the Watergate burglary cover-up.

While “bipartisanship” is usually a terrible thing, just horse-trading between both sides to give each other the worst of what each side wants, it’s really the only way to both give teeth to, and require real weight to invoke, impeachment proceedings.

If we want future presidential impeachments to manifest as anything more than political entertainment, it makes sense to start with something that gives Republicans a chance to burnish their “bipartisan” credentials and preempt Democratic whataboutism.

I refer, of course, to associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Thomas is righteously caught. He’s been established, pretty much beyond reasonable doubt, to have accepted and willfully concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes — some directly and some via family members and their employers — from a billionaire who also funds organizations with business before the court.

The GOP flack brigade has jumped in to whine that all this is all just a paperwork fuss, that poor Clarence is smart enough to serve on the Supreme Court but too dumb to fill out standard disclosure forms, but they know he’s bent, and they know he’s busted.

Why not move quickly to his impeachment and removal, as a “bipartisan” palate cleanser? He has to go in any case, and it might set the proper tone for whatever happens with Biden down the line.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter:@thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.